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BREE'S BLOG: In The Wake of the Fitzgerald

Dancing with Waves

The waves were growing ominously. I was following the track of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but in reverse. The big ore carrier had headed on the Northern Trek past Two Harbors, MN., (see locator map below) and shoving 10-foot waves away with aplomb. I was taking a walloping heading south. I could not steer a straight course on these waves, since they were higher than my beam was wide, but I worked a scallop course. I would work my way on the backside of the wave, steering diagonally to the movement of water, flip my rudder midships at the peak of the wave as it passed under me, then steered pretty much with the wave until, at the trough, my bow plunged into the back of the next wave. I was a submarine. I watched as my bow disappeared in the water, felt my boat shudder, noticed a slight loft in my cockpit seat as the prow got pushed further into the water, and then, suddenly, it was all over. My little boat had performed a miracle. We would keep on with that dance with the waves until I had run back to Two Harbors.
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